"Yawkey Way" will be no more.
The Red Sox announced Wednesday that they have petitioned the city of Boston Public Improvements Commission to change the street name of Fenway Park back to Jersey Street. The reasoning behind the change is to distance the franchise from the racist legacy of longtime owner Tom Yawkey. The street was renamed in honor of Yawkey in 1977, the year after his death.
The name-change process requires agreement on the new name from the property owners that abut Fenway and those two - the D'Angelo family and Samuels & Associates - have agreed with the Red Sox' petition. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also backs the move.
The Yawkey Foundation has also announced it will fight the move to rename Yawkey Way, as first reported by Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
Following is the team's statement on the change:
The Red Sox, with the approval and cooperation of all abutters on Yawkey Way, have filed a petition with the City of Boston Public Improvement Commission requesting that the Yawkey Way street name be restored to its original Jersey Street name. Restoring the Jersey Street name is intended to reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all.
It is important to separate the unfortunate and undeniable history of the Red Sox with regards to race and integration from the incredible charitable work the Yawkey Foundation has accomplished in this millennium and over the last 16 years. The positive impact they have had, and continue to have, in hospitals, on education programs, and with underserved communities throughout Boston and New England, is admirable and enduring. We have the utmost respect for their mission, leadership, and the institutions they support.
We appreciate the partnership of the other property owners, and the consideration of city on this important matter.